The Effect of Glucose on Yeast Fermentation

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Fermentation in yeast is also known as anaerobic respiration. This occurs when the cell respires in an oxygen-deficient environment. When fermentation occurs a toxic substance called ethyl alcohol is released.

How Glucose Affects Fermentation

  • The level of glucose available to the yeast cells directly affects the time it takes for the yeast to ferment. The higher the level of glucose, the slower the yeast ferments.

Why Does Glucose Affect Fermentation?

  • The lag in fermentation time is directly related to the osmotic pressure outside the yeast cell walls created by the high levels of glucose.

What About Other Sugars?

  • Though the time lag is almost negligent for maltose, it is quite noticeable with glucose.

Necessary Concentration

  • Yeast requires glucose in order to ferment. However, if the level of available glucose reaches greater than 5 percent, the rate of fermentation declines considerably.

Why Control Fermentation?

  • The rate of yeast fermentation is controlled so that the outcome of the process is optimal, such as in the use of yeast fermentation in baking and alcohol brewing.

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